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Inequality, Equity and Race: Changing the terrain of publi c discourse. Patrick Bresette – [email protected] www.publicworkspartners.net. Inequality – a Tough Subject for Americans. Self-made man/woman Morality of Reward and Punishment Individual Actor Economy Land of Opportunity.
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References to “income inequality over the past 12 months
Top Quintile has 84% of Wealth
Top Quintile has 36% of Wealth
“Ultimately, Inequality is about our society, not individuals. It needs to be seen as a structural problem: a matter of public policy, not just personal behavior. When some have a lot and others have little, the tendency is to attribute this circumstance to individual effort. But most sources of Inequality are rooted in the way that we have organized our society, and how that organization ends up favoring one group over another. To accelerate progress in eliminating structural inequalities we have to talk more effectively about structures, say why they matter, and offer tangible solutions for transforming them.”
From: Provoking Thought, Changing Talk: Putting it into Practice
Lori Dorfman, Dr.P.H., Berkeley Media Studies Group & Lawrence Wallack, Dr.P.H., College of Urban & Public Affairs, Portland State University
Navigating the Multiverse
As political scientist Robert Dahl noted almost a half a century ago, race is one of the fundamental sources of cleavage in American life. The dramatic advances precipitated by the modern civil rights movement of the mid-20th century notwithstanding, America continues to struggle with positive discourse about racial matters. Indeed, most of us have experienced the rather awkward fits and starts of conversations about race in our everyday lives; whether in the workplace, in social settings, or in the public square.
- Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Ph.D., The Architecture of a New Racial Discourse
Confrontational or Oppositional
Bridging and Reconciling
A Video Example
Lead with shared values, shared fate >>>> Lead with race and racism
FrameWorks > AECF > Opp Agenda > Kirwin > PolicyLink > ARC > Praxis
Their research found little support for several oft deployed framing strategies – Diversity as Strength; Prevention – The Miner’s Canary; White Privilege; Structural Racism; Disparities/Discrimination; Color Blind Society; and Fairness Between Groups.
The Opportunity for All and Ingenuity frames show great promise in their ability to move both racial attitudes and policy preferences. This is especially true when coupled with the prosperity grid and stakeholder simplifying models. While the opportunity frame demonstrates the greatest impact, both frames have broad appeal across demographic groupings. The opportunity model is effective because of its ability to overcome several of the deleterious effects of the dominant frame of understanding. For instance, it enables big picture thinking which, in turn, makes it easier for people to have a conversation about systems reform. Put differently, it takes people out of a dialogue about personal racism and fixes attention on the deeply held American belief in opportunity. At the same time it elevates notion of shared fate among people, thus negating the belief that minority concerns are unrelated to the concerns of the broader society.
The New York metropolitan region needs policies and investments that target those in greatest need to promote a thriving economy and more socially cohesive region. As earlier sections lay out, policies helped create high- and low-opportunity areas. Policies have created both avenues and barriers to good housing, jobs, education, transportation, health, and a clean, safe environment. This uneven growth has not only deepened the lack of opportunity in communities of color, it has also weakened the region’s resilience. But we can produce a strong, resilient region by building bridges to opportunity where they do not exist . . .
The Arc Is Bending Toward Justice. But That Doesn’t Make Our Work Easier
There’s still a ton of work to do to centralize racial justice as a value, and to reframe key debates through racial justice, especially debates over the economy. The victories we are starting to see owe a great deal to our collective effort to re-humanize people of color in the public discourse. We need to keep doing that. But we also must go a little further to help Americans understand why taking down the country’s racial hierarchy will ultimately unify us. We need to avoid the temptation to advance blander versions of unity through “same boat” arguments that don’t hold up under close scrutiny. Better to have a real analysis that takes into account existing divisions, so that we can figure out how to bridge them rather than ignore them.
Disrupting the Discourse: Framing at the Intersection of Racism and Opportunity,by MakaniThema-Nixon
The right frames nearly everything in a neat “us” and “them” and, more often than not, the dividing line is the color line. And they have centuries of stereotypes on their side. Their frames are like an old song that’s hard not to hum once the music starts. Winning hearts and minds on a wide range of social justice issues requires that we disrupt these centuries of programming with a few old songs of our own.
Disrupting the dominant frames on race, deservingness, and competency means focusing on two main questions: Why are things the way they are? And how can they be different?
From “Fair Game: A Strategy Guide for Racial Justice Communications in the Obama Era”
“For liberals, the ‘opportunity frame’ is a classic Trojan Horse. Opportunity and fairness are two common, comfortable concepts for Americans . . . The trouble with this Trojan horse [is] if we’re all in it together and we all want the same things – how do you meaningfully address racial injustice?”
But later . . . “Smart research and framing helped Books Not Bars remind the public of what was really at stake: opportunity for thousands of young people who deserved much better.”
How do we:
The central challenge for modern, diversifying societies is to create a new, broader sense of “we.”
- Robert Putnam